The role of the cytoskeleton at the immunological synapse

Immunol Rev. 2013 Nov;256(1):107-17. doi: 10.1111/imr.12117.


It has been over 30 years since the reorganization of both the microtubule network and a 'peculiar actin polarization' was reported at the contact area of cytotoxic T lymphocytes interacting with target cells. Since that time, hundreds of studies have been published in an effort to elucidate the structure and function of the microtubule network and the actin cytoskeleton in T-cell activation, migration, and effector function at the interface between a T cell and its cognate antigen-presenting cell or target cell. This interface has become known as the immunological synapse, and this review examines some of the roles played by the cytoskeleton at the synapse.

Keywords: T lymphocytes; cytoskeleton; synapse.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cell Movement
  • Centrosome / physiology
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Dyneins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunological Synapses / physiology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Actins
  • Dyneins